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» Shioya, Tochigi prefecture, rejected the gov’t plan of building a final disposal facility

The mayor of the Tochigi Prefecture town of Shioya rejected the central government’s plan to build a final disposal facility for waste contaminated with radioactive substances from the Fukushima nuclear plant, saying such a facility “would threaten the town’s survival.”

Mayor Kazuhisa Mikata made the remark in a meeting between the Environment Ministry and the mayors of Tochigi Prefecture municipalities held in Utsunomiya on Nov. 9.

In the meeting, Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki explained the national government’s selection of Shioya as a site for a final disposal facility for waste contaminated with radioactive substances emanating from the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, and sought the mayors’ understanding.

In response, Shioya Mayor Mikata demanded that the selection be retracted and that such a facility be built within Fukushima Prefecture. “The disposal facility could threaten the town’s survival. … Such waste should be treated intensively in the most contaminated areas,” Mikata told the meeting.

However, Mochizuki dismissed the mayor’s demand. “Our idea that such waste should be disposed of in various prefectures remains unchanged. We can’t place any more burden on Fukushima Prefecture,” he said. The environment minister and the mayor remained at odds over the matter.

Tochigi Gov. Tomikazu Fukuda suggested that waste with high levels of radiation eventually be extracted and disposed of after overall radiation levels in such waste decline after a certain period of time, and that the disposal facility accordingly not be billed as “final.”
<Media Report>
Tochigi town mayor rejects disposal site plan for Fukushima radioactive waste (Mainichi Newspaper)

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